Sunday, June 25, 2006

Breaking News: G.O.P Fee Office Flyaround Postponed, Rep. Wright Says Group Negotiating With Governor, Sen. Champion Won't Comment

A round of press conferences by a group of Missouri Republican House members on how to reform the way state government awards license fee offices has been postponed.

A group of House members, including Springfield Rep. Mark Wright, had planned press conferences in Missouri's 3 biggest cities outlining a plan that would end "political patronage" in awarding the offices.

Reached late Sunday evening, Rep. Wright called the postponement a "courtesy to the Governor," who requested opening negotiations with the members about their plan.

"Preliminary negotiations are not going well," Wright told me. "Our plan is very comprehensive, allowing non-for-profits to run these fee offices and allowing no political patronage."

"I don't know if the Governor is keen on that," Wright said.

The Democratic candidate for Greene County's Senate seat had called for fee agent reform when he first announced for office. Doug Harpool says non-for-profit groups should run the offices, with proceeds benefiting local schools or public health clinics.

"I'd be happy to see the Republicans joining me on my position," Harpool said Sunday, before the press conferences were canceled.

Meanwhile, when asked for her opinion on reforming the way fee offices are run, Sen. Norma Champion said she couldn't comment on something she didn't know about.

"I didn't know there was a flyaround," Champion said. "You're catching me on something I've not been a part of."

"I don't have a plan," Champion added. "That's fine if he has a plan but I don't have a plan to do that."

When I requested an on-camera interview for a story I plan to air Monday night on KY3 News at 10, Champion replied, "No thank-you. I'm not going to let him (Harpool) define the agenda."

This story is just developing . . . stay with us.


Anonymous said...

How could someone who has been in the State Senate for four years and the Missouri House for ten years before that not know about the fee agent office controversy? This is frightening because the Senate voted on proposed reform measures in May.

The Springfield office changed from being run by the state to being run by political contributiors of the governor and the Senator wasn't even aware of the change????

Anonymous said...

"I don't have a plan." All I needed to hear from "Aunt" Norma. She's done.

Anonymous said...

Sen. Norma Champion, should have SHUT UP, at "No Thank you". Now we see what a fool she is, unwilling to work with someone who comes up with a GREAT idea that is for the good of our State, just because of who he is. SHE MUST GO. VOTE HER OUT!!!!

Anonymous said...

Not going to let Harpool define the agenda? He's the only one talking about anything. At least he HAS an agenda. Champion only appears to be able to do what her handlers tell her to do. Time for her to head home and stay there.

Anonymous said...

Bet you this is the LAST time Champion talks with a reporter. She's not competent to handle questions.

Anonymous said...

Ms. Champion is wise not to discuss anything further with this station.

She is correct. This station looks to be siding with Harpool and his talking points. If she agrees to respond in kind to speculation of this and that she will be allowing Harpool to define the election.

I am sure Ms. Champion will address issues in her own time and way. I am equally sure she is aware of the problems all to well in Jefferson City and the solutions which might be floating around.

At times it is humorus to watch people be sucked into media hype on an issue or candidate rhetoric; or both.

Anonymous said...

I see the tomato has come to splat on KY3. Next thing you know, Champion will claim she was misquoted by the station. It's the last refuge of scoundrels and do-nothings.

Tomato seems "sure" Champion will "address issues in her own time and way." Is she waiting for her puppets to do the talking?

Anonymous said...

Patience young grasshopper. The campaign has just started. It is not yet July.

Right now this whole thing is about buzz and name recognition.

To be frank, with the number of people who are new to Southwest Missouri, much of the electorate does not even know WHO Doug Harpool is.

At this point we are looking news items to drive name recognition and introduce them into the campagin on the positive side of people's cognative anchors.

Anonymous said...

Let me clear up my last point.

What I meant to say is that news items are driving campaign recongition and people's perception of the candidates.

Based on how this news station and other media is framing Champion's response to the entire fee office situation, Harpool might sound like a pretty good guy.

My problem isnt so much asking Champion hard questions, it is giving Harpool a free ride and not challenging his solution to the situation which gives me grief.

By not applying the same level of analysis to both candidates and all but rubbers stamping a particular position, you unfairly take sides in a campaign.

Anonymous said...

Tomato: Cognitive. If there's anything I can't stand, it's a politico who can't spell. Give Champion my regards.

Anonymous said...

Like it or not, anon, the story was nothing more than a schill for Harpool and state Democrats. Talking about spelling errors cannot change that.

If Dave was really trying to write an honest story, the framing would be entirely different.

But it wasnt and it is clear what the story was attempting.

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't Champion have to talk to Dave for him to present the type of story Tomato seeks?

Anonymous said...

Tomato: You fault KY3 for "not challenging" Harpool's solution to the fee office scandal. You fault Catanese for "the framing" of his story. You say it's "clear" the story had a pro-Democrat agenda.

You ignore the fact that Catanese's on-air story had Mark Wright, a Republican, offering pretty much the same solution that Harpool presents. When did Mark Wright become a shill - or as you like to type it, a "schill" -- for Missouri Democrats?

Anonymous said...

Your logic does not follow. If the story is slanted from the outset, why be part of it?

While the news story is clearly well written, it also advocates a solution and and a state senate candidate.

No where in the story does Dave talk about the disadvantages of the possible solution or any other alternatives presented by the "the other side." In fact there was not a single hard question to Harpool at all.

So the story sorta goes like this: Fees offices are evil. Both parties use it to their advantage. Matt Blunt and Republicans made it more evil by *gasp* privatizing the situation. Doug Harpool, candidate for senate has this great idea. Republicans have some sort of an idea too, but are being presssured by evil Governor and wont do anything.

The only thing the story didnt have was a "vote for" and "paid for by" statement at the end. This is why Ms. Champion was better off not commenting and not being suckered in.

There is an eppisode for a sci-fi television show called Babylon Five titled "Illusion of truth." This news story, and others by the Post-Dispatch, etal, remind me of that eppisode.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Tomato: Citing fiction from television to bolster your version of truth is priceless.

Anonymous said...

KY3 has not exactly taken the side of Harpool. As a republican, I found the "THE RETURN TO PUBLIC SERVICE INITIATIVE" by Doug Harpool on several bloggers sites. Never did I see the initiative mentioned on KY3 or other news station, however it was reported in the Post-Dispatch and the Kansas City Star. If KY3 is leaning towards Harpool, why would would the not report "The return to public service initiative?" I'm sick of Repo's constantly blaming others as stated above, "blame the reporter" blame "the station" - Is this what we will hear in 2006? Harpool seems to be a democratic candidate finally worth voting for. Norma, stop with the following and start leading. Harpool is taking a lead...and from my friends and my point of view a lead in the votes to. Corruption is corruption, no matter when one stands politically.
- Jiggity